Scaling Riemannian Diffusion Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Aaron Lou, Minkai Xu, Adam Farris, Stefano Ermon


Riemannian diffusion models draw inspiration from standard Euclidean space diffusion models to learn distributions on general manifolds. Unfortunately, the additional geometric complexity renders the diffusion transition term inexpressible in closed form, so prior methods resort to imprecise approximations of the score matching training objective that degrade performance and preclude applications in high dimensions. In this work, we reexamine these approximations and propose several practical improvements. Our key observation is that most relevant manifolds are symmetric spaces, which are much more amenable to computation. By leveraging and combining various ans\"{a}tze, we can quickly compute relevant quantities to high precision. On low dimensional datasets, our correction produces a noticeable improvement and is competitive with other techniques. Additionally, we show that our method enables us to scale to high dimensional tasks on nontrivial manifolds, including $SU(n)$ lattices in the context of lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Finally, we apply our models to contrastively learned hyperspherical embeddings, curbing the representation collapse problem in the projection head and closing the gap between theory and practice.